We live in a time that recommends achieving personal growth through the having of rewarding experiences. Among those experiences, architects hope, are experiences of wonderful buildings. Benedikt argues that this experientialism (as he calls it) turns architecture into a form of entertainment, or a facilitator thereof, rather than what it could and should be, which is not, alternatively, a gateway to heavenly serenity, but rather, an exemplar and facilitator of non-instrumental, second-person, I-You relationships between people, animals, rooms, and things.
Michael Benedikt is the Director of the Center for American Architecture and Design (CAAD) at the University of Texas at Austin, where he holds the Hal Box Chair in Urbanism and teaches design studio and architectural theory. He is a graduate of the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa and of Yale University.
Source by UNSW Built Environment
If recent theory has highlighted architecture’s turn to evident resemblance and signification, we argue this tendency has also produced its other: The landscape of contemporary practice is filled with work whose motivating interests are anterior to meaning and averse to thematization; they are, in a way, pre-speech. Projects in this mode are born of the original human postulate to claim a place in the world, to confirm having been there, to make and mark a difference. “Inscriptions” is a broad survey of work that problematizes, resists, and exceeds signification by appealing to other kinds of cultural engagements, agreements, and fantasies of architecture’s origins. Important projects by Harvard University Graduate School of Design faculty spanning more than 35 years of practice are interspersed as conceptual keystones among works from emerging architects across the American academy, offering a theory of the structural relationships that bind and organize even the apparent delirium of the contemporary field.
Join us for an evening with Henry N. Cobb, Peter Eisenman, and Rafael Moneo as they investigate the question, “How will architecture be conceived?” Each participant will give a brief presentation, after which, they will engage in an intimate discussion together on stage.
16 February 2018
Friday Evening Lecture – The Face
The face in humans condenses the facts of seeing, speaking and hearing. These in turn are related to the condition of frontality, a condition which migrates to all those arrangements in which objects are said to have a front, and even a facade. The lecture course will examine this condition with special reference to the face, its visibility, its hiddenness, its tendency to support ideas of expression and of meaning. It considers the role of transforming the face through the cosmetic.
Lecture date: 2014-02-12
Troubles in Heterotopia - Occupied Spaces: New York and Istanbul to the ‘68 Revolution
Occupation politics, while new in the current neoliberal economic regime, has long been a staple of political action. The lecture will consider the political practice and theory of ‘occupation’ since 1968, and review its effects with reference to the spatial, political and theoretical activism of Foucault, Deleuze, Lefebvre, Althusser, Badiou, Balibar (the theorists of ‘68), with respect to the temporal theories of traditional Marxism.
Anthony Vidler is a historian and critic, trained in architecture at Cambridge, who has taught at Princeton, Cornell, UCLA, and most recently at Cooper Union and Brown University. His recent books are James Frazer Stirling and Histories of the Immediate Present.
Lecture Date: 2006-01-30
Peter Eisenman and Rem Koolhaas return to the AA for a discussion moderated by Brett Steele about architecture, ideology and the city. To initiate their critical conversation, each architect makes an opening statement outlining their views on the terms of architecture, including its theories and relationship to such topics as critical practice, autonomy and engagement, form and content, and subjectivity.
Lecture date: 2013-11-05
This lecture will explore architecture’s nervous encounter with liquids. Our buildings, like ourselves, are filled with pipes. Water, gas, electricity, and information flow inside walls, floor and ceilings, crisscrossing basements and running across rooftops. Yet these tubes are rarely allowed to enter the space. No evidence of flow is allowed. But the ever expanding repressed world of pipes always has its leaks, blockages and occasional overflows. The building and the discipline occasionally get covered in what was meant to be excluded. There is an astonishing architecture of pipes, a radical liquid architecture.
Mark Wigley is Dean of Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation. The author of The Architecture of Deconstruction: Derrida's Haunt (1993), White Walls, Designer Dresses: The Fashioning of Modern Architecture (1995; both MIT Press), and Constant's New Babylon: The Hyper-Architecture of Desire (010 Publishers, 1998), he coedited, with Catherine de Zegher, The Activist Drawing: Retracing Situationist Architectures from Constant's New Babylon to Beyond,(MIT Press, 2001). He has curated exhibitions at the MoMA in New York, the Witte de With in Rotterdam, The Drawing Center in New York, and the CCA in Montreal.
In the five hundred years since the publication of Thomas More’s Of A Republic’s Best State and of the New Island of Utopia (1516), the project of imagining an ideal society has emerged as simultaneously regenerative and devastating on multiple fronts: for the concept of the polity, for the composition of social fabrics, and, most relevant from the vantage of the design disciplines, for the formation of buildings, cities, and territories. This year’s Cambridge Talks, now in its tenth edition, aims to provide a spectrum of exemplary instances of utopia’s modern guise.
In the main conference panels, we bring together speakers to address the rivalry between those utopian endeavors that organize space mainly through social relations and production, and those whose expansive impulse searches out some form of technical mastery over spatial configuration. In other words, utopia can be understood as either embodied or totalizing, bound or unbound. By taking examples from the 19th and 20th centuries, the case studies presented here—from communes and plantations to infrastructural projects and global ecologies—exhibit various attempts to imagine social conditions alongside spatial ones. A concluding discussion will touch upon the philosophical and theoretical ramifications of utopia today.
April 14, 3 PM – 6 PM
Ana Miljački, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Sonja Dümpelmann, Harvard University
April 15, 9 AM – 5 PM
Panel 1: Embodied Utopia
Luis Casteñeda, Syracuse University
Joyce Chaplin, Harvard University
Erika Naginski, Harvard University
Respondent: Catherine Ingraham, Pratt Institute
Panel 2: Total Utopia
Daniel Barber, University of Pennsylvania
Sara Pritchard, Cornell Univesity
Abby Spinak, Charles Warren Center, Harvard University
Respondent: John May, Harvard University
Damian White, Rhode Island School of Design
Discussants: K. Michael Hays and Neil Brenner, Harvard University
Conversation recorded with Stéphanie Dadour in Paris on June 11, 2015
Source by The Funambulist Podcast
Lecture date: 2005-10-25
'Trying to visualise today's practice of architecture and urbanism without the use of diagrams is an almost impossible exercise. Diagrams have incredible power to simultaneously construct, design, and expose an idea while at the same time, simplifying and idealising the complexity of the work into one simple sign. The diagram is "potential" but also "problematic" because it is constantly updating the representation of the work, and thus reducing it to an always-changing figure. The diagram, therefore, tends to be a very accessible consumption of events and things, a consumption of our experience of the world. My argument is that diagrams are not just a camouflage of reality or, as Witttgenstein would argue, a social constructed reality, but also (and especially) a form of nihilism.'
Pier Vittorio Aureli is currently working on a study on the representation of the city through architectural form, from Bramante to Koolhaas. Aureli coordinates the second year research program at the Berlage and teaches a Diploma HTS course at the AA entitled 'Towards the Archipelago', which considers a radical cognitive alternative to the present way of thinking the urban world.